In June 2011, fourteen funders established the Connecticut Early Childhood Funder Collaborative (ECFC) to support the state’s legislatively-mandated two-year planning process to create a coordinated system of early care and education. The legislation provided a long-awaited opportunity for state-level, systemic improvement in early care and education, and the two-year timeline provided a catalyst for the funders to act together pooling funding and knowledge in an effort to advance fundamental changes in the way Connecticut supports young children and their families.
ECFC includes funders from across the state including community, private and corporate foundations. It was formed under the auspices of the CT Council for Philanthropy which serves as fiscal sponsor and a critical link to national philanthropic networks and knowledge.
From June 2011-June 2013, ECFC partnered with the state on many aspects of the planning process that ultimately led to the creation of the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) in May 2014. Philanthropy’s access to knowledge networks and its ability to provide timely assistance were essential in bringing national experts to help identify options for structuring state programs and services. Based on the information developed by the ECFC supported consultant, the state chose to establish a separate independent office bringing together programs and staff from five different state agencies in an effort to align services for the benefit of young children and their families.
Recognizing that OEC was only one part of an evolving early childhood system, the funders decided to continue to work together on an ongoing basis. The mission of the Collaborative was established at that time: “To bring the collective voice and resources of philanthropy to build and sustain a comprehensive early childhood system that works for all children, families, communities and the workforce in Connecticut.”
To learn more about the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative go to https://www.ctphilanthropy.org/collaborative